Conservation in danger again as Congress debates budget

Katmai National Park (Alaska), which has received money through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Credit: Christoph Strässler, flickr.

Conservation is under attack again as Congress discusses funding the federal government for the coming fiscal year.

The U.S. Senate is debating its fiscal year 2016 budget resolution, a process that will include amendments affecting important programs that support forests, parks and conservation priorities.

Some of the proposals could damage bedrock environmental laws and cut already underfunded programs.

Send a strong message to lawmakers that protecting wilderness and wildlife isn’t up for debate!

Expected amendments in the debate could:

  • Sell off wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and national forests, allowing state and local governments to seize some of our most treasured places and hand them over to private interests 
  • Undercut the Endangered Species Act by defunding the ability to add imperiled wildlife and plants to the list
  • Sell off federally-owned wildlands to states—which would likely then open them to drilling, mining, and logging
  • Make dangerous cuts to programs to inspect and monitor oil and gas wells on federal lands and enforce clean air and clean water protections

Act now: tell Congress not to undermine the Antiquities Act

A recent report from The Wilderness Society and other groups points to dozens of programs that have been shortchanged repeatedly, harming public lands conservation, national park maintenance, clean water and access to outdoor recreation. In spite of the clear danger to our parks and other protected public lands, Congress is again proposing additional drastic cuts for conservation programs. It is imperative that Congress remember these chronically underfunded programs and defend our public lands by restoring the funding they depend on--not cutting budgets to the bone.

Conservation programs make up a fraction of the federal budget—scarcely more than 1%. But they generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity each year to communities throughout the U.S. Our parks and public lands strengthen local economies and sustain American jobs that cannot be exported, and we can’t balance the budget on their backs.

As Congress debates the federal budget for the coming fiscal year, we will work to make sure your voices are heard: funding conservation programs is essential!